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The Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA), the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) and the Secretary of the Department of Education are referred to as 'ESOS agencies'.
The Department of Education has fact sheets for each education sector outlining the registration and regulatory processes:
- Registration fact sheet for higher education, foundation programs and ELICOS
- Registration fact sheet for VET courses and ELICOS
- Registration fact sheet for schools
Jurisdictional coverage of ASQA
ASQA is the ESOS agency for all National VET Regulator (NVR) registered training organisations (within the meaning of the National Vocational Education and Training Regulatory Act 2011) in all states and territories.
Jurisdictional coverage of TEQSA
TEQSA is the ESOS agency for all higher education providers (within the meaning of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011) across Australia.
Jurisdictional coverage of the Department of Education
The Secretary of the Department of Education (the department) is the ESOS agency for all schools. The state and territory authorities role is to recommend school providers for registration and monitor schools’ compliance under the ESOS Act. They are referred to as designated State authorities (DSAs).
The DSA for a provider is the education agency responsible for approving schools to operate in their state or territory:
- Australian Capital Territory
- New South Wales
- Northern Territory
- South Australia
- Western Australia
Schools need to apply for registration on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) to the department through their DSA. The DSA will assess the school’s appropriateness for CRICOS registration, identify any conditions that should be placed on the school’s registration, and issue a DSA assessment certificate.
The DSA assessment certificate must accompany the school’s application for CRICOS registration to the department, which will make a final decision on whether to register the school on CRICOS.
Schools seeking to renew their registration follow the same process of applying through their DSA, which will issue a recommendation certificate instead of an assessment certificate.
Contact details for CRICOS regulatory authorities can be found on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students website.
Dual sector higher education and VET providers
Providers that offer both higher education and VET courses to overseas students should direct CRICOS registration applications relating to higher education courses to TEQSA and relating to VET courses to ASQA. Where a provider is seeking to renew its higher education and VET registrations concurrently, the two regulatory agencies will work collaboratively to consider and, where possible, synchronise related topics of assessment. While ASQA and TEQSA will make individual decisions in respect of their areas of regulatory responsibility, they will liaise with each other throughout the assessment process to ensure optimal coordination.
Regulation of ELICOS and Foundation Program providers
ASQA is the ESOS agency for providers of English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) programs in all states and territories except where a provider delivers the program:
- in the capacity of a school;
- in the capacity of a higher education provider; or
- under an Entry Arrangement* with at least one higher education provider.
TEQSA is the ESOS agency for:
- all foundation programs
- all ELICOS delivered by a higher education provider and
- all providers delivering ELICOS programs under an Entry Arrangement* with at least one higher education provider.
* Entry Arrangement - means a pathway arrangement under which an overseas student, who completes an ELICOS program with the provider, meets the minimum English proficiency requirements for entry with the higher education provider to study a higher education course or foundation program
The Secretary of the Department of Education and Training is the ESOS agency for all ELICOS provided in the capacity of a school. The state and territory authorities maintain their role of recommending school providers for registration and monitoring compliance under the ESOS act but will now be referred to a the 'designated State authority' (DSA).
Providers of ELICOS and foundation programs must meet the relevant ELICOS Standards and Foundation Program Standards respectively, in addition to other registration requirements under the ESOS Act. More information on the ELICOS Standards and Foundation Program Standards can be found in the (ESOS) Legislative Framework section of this website.